Skip to main content

We are here to help

Contact Us

HISTORY 221: History and Genealogy in the US (Spring 2021) : Newspapers


About Newspapers

While the impact of a daily, printed newspaper has changed drastically, newspapers have long been a main pillar of information for a very wide audience. From large, national papers like the New York Times, to small, hometown papers like the Platteville Journal, to special interest papers, newspapers excel at getting information about current events out to a general audience quickly and were the central social hub of communities. 

There are many reasons the person you're researching may have been written about in their local newspaper. In addition to searching their name, think about the following circumstances:

  • Did they own a business or work for a prominent employer? 
  • Were they a member of a club, church, or union?
  • What school did they attend and how might they have been involved there?

Tip: filter your results to a specific date range.


The most comprehensive database of historical Wisconsin newspapers is That said, the user interface is...lacking. A few hints on using the database follow below.

Screen grab of the homepage of NewspaperARCHIVE with arrows pointing to the basic Search box and the Search button in the top bar



Click on "Search" in the upper bar to access the advanced search.


On the homepage try a basic search in the box provided. You will probably want to click the "keyword" tab instead of staying on the default "name search."


You only have access to Wisconsin newspapers on this database, so ALL results will automatically be from Wisconsin publications.






Screengrab of the filter location and date filter options on a results screen.
To narrow your results by city or date, use the filters on the right side of the results screen.



Clicking into a result will show you a full-page PDF. Use the red bar along the top to zoom in/out, save, etc.
Screengrab of top menu bar showing the "save" option.





TIP! Browse around the full page you see how your article fits into the larger context.
- What ads are on the page?
- What are the surrounding stories?
- What section of the newspaper are you looking at?

More Newspapers